Video:Children and Hand-Washingwith Kathy Moore
Hand-washing is one of the most important routines you can teach your children. Break into this habit with ease using these tips.See Transcript
Transcript:Children and Hand-WashingHi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Hand washing is one of the most important disease prevention skills you can teach your children. Little kids are especially susceptible to germs and bacteria because they do so much exploring with their hands and they have not built up immunity to many common germ types.
Some people like to use antibacterial soaps, but the kind of soap you use does not matter as much as how well you rub your hands together and create friction to remove soil and germs. Encourage your kids to wash between each finger and around their fingernails too.
Hand Washing WaterWash hands in clean water. It doesn't matter if the water is warm or cold. In fact, washing with cold water may help reduce dry skin.
Using a mild soap and lather up for about 10 to 15 seconds. Since most kids won't time themselves, try teaching them to sing their ABCs while they are washing. When the song is over, they can rinse and dry their hands.
Drying HandsAfter rinsing, teach your kids to dry their hands with a clean towel. Public health experts advocate using single-use paper towels to reduce the spread of disease. At home you may find it more convenient and economical to use cloth towels but consider changing them daily.
Hand Washing With SanitizersMany people like to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that don't require water. While these products do a great job of killing bacteria and viruses, they're not so great at removing plain old dirt and soil. Also when using hand sanitizers with small children you need to be extra careful that they don't ingest the sanitizing solution.
When to Wash HandsNow that we've covered how to wash your hands lets review when hand washing should be required.
Teach your kids to always wash their hands after using the toilet, before eating or cooking, after blowing their nose or sneezing, and any time they have touched or cared for one of the family pets.
Don't forget that kids pick up on your habits so be sure to make them aware of when you are washing your hands too. Hopefully you can use these tips to help your kids get into the hand washing habit. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.